Latte art is getting the 3D-printing treatment: the Ripple Maker can printanything on the foam of your café latte, including your own selfie. The gadget uses 3D printing techniques and natural coffee extract in pods to create custom-made designs in just 10 seconds. The machine connects via WiFi to a website or app where you can select and upload the image you want printed on your cup of joe. But the coffee lovers’ gizmo comes at a hefty price: $999 and a subscription starting at $75 per month. Metro spoke with Ian Twinn, the managing director from Tandem Marketing Communications Inc., which represents the gadget.
Where did the idea for the Ripple Maker come about?
–The idea is the brainchild of Israeli industrial designers Eyal Eliav and Danny Lavie, who nearly a decade ago found themselves working long hours at various Tel Aviv coffee shops. They’d look at the foam floating atop their lattes and think, “How great would it be if we could send messages on it?”, and that was the start of Ripple Maker.
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What kind of drinks does it work with?
–It needs to be a foam-based coffee or tea-like lattes, cappuccinos, or any foam-topped drink.
And does it really design any image, no matter what?
–Yes, any image can be sent to the machine using the Ripples App. There is also an extensive library of designs that can be selected. Baristas can view them on the machine and customers can view them on the app.
How about phrases or other things?
– Sure, you can use phrases and texts too.
Doesn't it affect the flavor of the coffee?
–No, it doesn’t affect the flavor at all. No artificial color or sweetener. Ripples are produced using micro granules of extract from expresso beans. And it doesn’t affect the taste.
Does your gadget focus only on coffee shops or homes too?
–The Ripple Maker is designed to help any venue that serves coffee - from coffee shops to cafes, restaurants, hotels, food service and events to create engagement, loyalty and emotional connection with their customers.
People really love barista art. Can you say you're contributing to it?
–Yes, sure. The Ripple app is open to anyone that loves coffee and we think there is huge demand today. Actually, barista art is one of the most shared pictures on social media.